My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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We arrived back in Washington at eleven-thirty-five this morning and it was a joy to see my daughter-in-law, Betsey, at the station, though she brought the news that the President was not going to Warm Springs for Thanksgiving. I am sorry of course, because I know what a disappointment this will be to everyone there and yet since he has had such a miserable time with this tooth, I think he is wise to take a real rest and the only way that he can do that is to go to sea and stop at Warm Springs on the way home.

My husband and I had lunch together and caught up on all kinds of things, but even before that I went in to greet him and found myself interrupting the Secretary of the Treasury—something which is not done! Then Mrs. Morgenthau and I had a little chat together going over some of our plans for the yearly Gridiron Widows Party.

After lunch the regular routine had to be taken up again and first Mrs. Helm came with the accumulation of social things, and then Mrs. Nesbitt with her household routine, and then Miss LeHand with a number of special things which had come up in my absence. By this evening I am sure everything will be caught up and I am very happy that we are going to be quietly here for the next few days as I have been jaunting around the country for so many days!

Yesterday in Norris was an exceptionally interesting day to me. That is the dam that I have really seen from the beginning right through to the end and it is the first dam I ever saw from "the bucket." When you see a dam finished it does not make half the impression that it does while it is under construction, and of course the lake at Norris, which extends some seventy miles, because it winds in and out, does not impress you with its size from the dam.

I think it is the village of Norris which interests me most. They have made the transition from a work camp to a town inhabited by the permanent staff at the dam and by people who work in Knoxville but who live in Norris, which is a thirty minute drive by motor. Many things still remain to be worked out, but on the whole it seems to me remarkable that this transition has been effected with so little dislocation in the real social idea that lay back of the original conception of this town. The school is outstanding and one activity, the children's cooperative where they run their own lunch room, have their own bank and do their own buying, seems to me of great interest and an excellent preparation for the future as life as citizens of the town.

The laboratory where they are hoping to prove that there is a possibility for a future ceramics industry in this locality, is a fascinating place. They have already an outstanding recreation park with its camps overlooking the lake, and its picnic tables and outdoor fireplaces, not forgetting a most delightful outdoor theatre. Everyone in my party I think wanted to return there next summer and enjoy it.

E.R.
TMsd 23 November 1937, AERP, FDRL